CAMP POINT, Ill. — A little more than a week after making their 300th delivery, the Liberty chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace was hard at work again, with the sound of hand sanders and other tools filling Bailey Park in Camp Point like a very angry hornet’s nest Saturday morning.
“I think we have 55 or 60 people out here this morning,” Emilie Schulte said. Schulte is the president of Liberty’s Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapter. “It’s more people than I was expecting. This group is working really quickly, and working really well together.”
The way it works for SHP is that they have premade forms that they can place materials in to make sure they’re the right sizes, uniform across the board. Volunteers sand, drill, and stain the boards to make twin-size beds. Some of the parts are pre-assembled to make identical head- and foot-board which are ready for quick assembly at the time of delivery.
The beds are designed to be set up as either a single twin bed or as bunk beds, with pre-drilled holes for connecting pins. Once delivered, the group’s volunteer delivery teams can have a complete bunk bed set built and fully dressed with mattresses, sheets, pillows, and blankets — all donated directly or purchased with donated money — in less than 30 minutes.
Volunteers from several area organizations, along with the general public, came out to the build from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday.
“We planned this with John Hibbert with the Lions Club here in Camp Point,” Schulte said. “So the Lions Club and the United Methodist Church of Camp Point are the ones sponsoring, and the Kiwanis heard it was going on and made it one of their volunteer days for their members. So this is a bunch of groups coming together.”
John Hibbert, president of the Lions Club oof Camp Point, said the build day was something he’s been working on for a little while now.
“My wife used to work with the Advocacy group, the CASA organization, in Quincy,” Hibbert said. “They were introduced to the Sleep in Heavenly Peace group at one of their meetings. That was probably about two years ago.
“I wanted to get a build set up then, but then COVID threw a wrench in those plans,” he continued. “So I reached back out a few months ago and spoke with Emilie and we managed to get this scheduled before the end of the year.”
Along with sponsoring the build itself, the Lions Club also came prepared to make the chilly fall day as comfortable as possible for the volunteers.
“The Lions Club is grilling burgers for lunch, and brought drinks for us,” Schulte said. The food and drinks were provided at no cost to the volunteers. “Any donations made for the food, they’re just giving right back to us. So the community has really made this happen today. They’re very motivated.”
According to Schulte, the word has gotten out on the organization and the build days are starting to become something of a regular event for some.
“I’m seeing a lot of faces I’ve seen before at other builds,” She said. “So I’m glad we make it fun enough that they want to come back. But it’s not like work, it’s different when you know you’re helping kids get a good night’s sleep.”
Hibbert said that while there’s nothing on the calendar yet for future builds with the Lions Club, that’s something he hopes to see.
“We’re going to see how this goes today,” he said, “but we’d love to do more build days in the future.”
For 2022, Schulte said her plan, while not set in stone, is to have a build day somewhere in the region every other month. She said the group has lists of children that need beds, so any time they have a build day, the beds go out just about as fast as they can be built. By the time the worked wrapped up in Camp Point on Saturday, Schulte said they had hit their goal of building 40 more beds to fill the needs of children in the area.
“We’re going to try to get some of these beds delivered in December, get kids in beds before Christmas,” she said.
For more information, visit the Sleep in Heavenly Peace — Liberty Area Facebook page or go to shpbeds.org/chapter/il-liberty.